Relaxation, exploration or partying: there’s all in the Gold Coast
Whether you’re in the mood for relaxation, exploration or partying, the top things to do on the Gold Coast, Australia have you covered. With its golden sands and laid-back holiday vibe, the Gold Coast has always been a favourite destination for those seeking a relaxed seaside escape. However, this famous Queensland holiday spot offers more than a day at the beach. With its rich Indigenous heritage, vibrant markets, heart-pumping adrenaline activities and thriving live music scene, there is plenty to keep you entertained along the coastal strip. For a change of pace, head to the naturally beautiful Gold Coast hinterland where you’ll find an oasis of calm and stunning scenery. Bring your swimsuit and your sense of adventure. It’s time to discover a different side of the Gold Coast.
Twilight climb at Q1
Swap the beach for the clouds atop the Gold Coast skyscraper Q1 and watch the sunset on a twilight climb. After a safety briefing you’ll put on a sturdy harness and head outside to climb the stairs to the top of Q1 and marvel at jaw-dropping ocean views as the sun sets.
Jet Boat Extreme
Get your heart racing with an adrenaline-packed hour spent zipping around sandbars and zooming past pelicans. Hang on tight as the driver cuts across the wake from larger boats, teasing the wheel so the jetboat dances across the waves.
Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
To connect with the Gold Coast’s rich Indigenous culture. You’ll walk the tracks of the cool rainforest with a guide, and hear one of the Gold Coast’s oldest Dreamtime stories as you learn more about the traditional sites used by the Yugambeh people.
Whale watching cruise
The Gold Coast has one of Australia’s longest whale watching seasons and offers the chance to see humpback whales and even the occasional orca whale if you’re lucky. Dolphins, flying fish, turtles and sharks are also spotted regularly during this scenic boat tour.
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
Lamington National Park is a natural wonderland filled with walking trails and jewel-bright native Australian birds. Don’t miss the free treetop canopy walk which has a 30-metre-high observation deck.
The Gold Coast is famous for surfing so you would be crazy not to try it at least once. It’s a fun atmosphere as everyone practices their surf moves on the beach before the instructors charge into the water with the class to help everyone learn how to hang ten. Wetsuit, on.
Brewery tour with Burleigh Brewery Co.
Explore the boutique Burleigh Brewery Co. with a brew master to learn the tricks of the trade, and drink beers with the guy who created them. You’ll sample four of their most popular beers.
Mt Tamborine is an easy 40-minute drive from the Gold Coast but feels like a world away. Galleries and cafés line the cute main street, and Queensland’s oldest national park, (Tamborine Mountain National Park) offers impressive views of the distant Pacific Ocean.
Yoga class by the beach
Kick off your morning with some downward-facing dog by the water, with ocean waves providing a soothing natural soundtrack. These free classes are part of the Gold Coast City Council’s ‘Active and Healthy’ programme.
Surf World Gold Coast
Surf World Gold Coast celebrates the history of surfing and its impact on popular culture with an impressive array of boards, trophies, photographs, clothing and other memorabilia. Exhibitions and events frequently change so you’ll never get bored. Plus, the terrific gift shop is ideal for those seeking a souvenir that’s a little different.
Catch a gig at Miami Marketta, a live music venue and hawker-style food market with shared tables, funky bars and a lively atmosphere every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. There is plenty of tasty street food and seating for 450 people, so be sure to bring your entire posse.
Pacific Fair has more than 400 shops, ranging from department stores to high-end boutiques like Prada and Gucci. The Visitors Lounge with chilled water and fresh fruit, free Wi-Fi and restrooms with showers, is a great spot to freshen up if the sun is getting a little intense.